Monthly Archives: June 2010

>Day Two of the Homeschooling Experiment

>Let me give a little background: Jack just finished Kindergarten and I’ve toyed with the idea of homeschooling him for awhile. Chris originally wanted him to wait a year to start school, but on the advice of my mom, the teacher who did his screening, and the fact it meant I could again work and not pay for daycare, I decided to enroll him.

I’ll give Chris the credit and say I’m sure it wouldn’t have hurt for him to wait a year. That being said, he didn’t do horribly and he made great friends. I never thought in a million billion years I’d ever be someone who would even consider homeschooling. What made me think of it was Jack really. I think his personality and the way he learns jives really well with homeschooling/unschooling.

So, now that you know a little about this, let me continue.

I have decided that the next few months I will treat each day like the regular school year. So far, we are only on day two. I don’t have a curriculum, I’m just going off of what he’s interested in, mixed with fun activities.

Yesterday we learned about the planets. Jack wanted to learn “space science” so we found Kids Astronomy and learned about comets, planets, and the sun. Then I had him draw the solar system and label each thing. After that I wrote a few questions with “blanks” where he had to fill in the answers. He liked it and so did I. Then we got all the coins in the house, sorted, and counted them. We had $20! So we put the coins in a jar, I went and picked up my paychecks, and we headed to the bank so he could put the change into his savings account.

Today I had an appointment with my editor at the park which was nice. Jack got to play and then we watched Arctic Tale (for the second time today). The movie makes me sad but I enjoy it because it’s very educational. Tonight I read Jack a book about constellations that look like animals. I forgot to mention that we went to the library yesterday and got books about space.

Tomorrow we are going to an art class at the library with another mom who was at a homeschooling meeting that I went to a few months back. Then Jack and I are setting up the new tent in the yard and reading books in it.

I hope the rest of the summer goes well. I’m honestly a lot less stressed having him around and letting the day sort of flow. Ultimately, if he really wants to go back to school, I will respect that choice. I guess we’ll see….

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>I think I need some sponsors or something

>I would love to have a giveaway. In fact, I’d love to try a product, review it, and then give one away. Wouldn’t that be awesome? How can I do this? Who wants to give me something that they make/sell? Anyone? I think this would be fun. Give me suggestions about things you would be excited to win that fit the theme of my blog?

Or, as a joke, would someone want to donate Sarah Palin’s book for me to review and then give away? Because I can promise after reading that mess I will be begging someone to take it off my hands.

>Don’t Ever Assume

>I used to think I knew how the future would be, more or less.
I used to think I would know what kind of a mom I would be, the type of person I would marry, where I would live, what I would/wouldn’t eat, etc.

If my high school self could see me, she would wonder why I still dress the same and would be very thankful she no longer lives in Arizona.

If my college self could see me, she would be very confused.

People freak out about getting older, I think it’s cool. I like who I’ve become and I’m excited for more changes. I’m not completely different, but different enough to realize that I’m very foolish for making assumptions about anything anymore.

How have you changed/stayed the same?

>Camping!!!

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We are going camping! In just over a week we will be headed up to the Lake George area to camp for a night or two. I’m seriously excited. I haven’t been camping in years. Honestly I think the last time was in high school. It was impromptu and it involved nothing to eat but bread and cheese, trying to setup a tent in the dark while drunk, and a ridiculous trip to Denny’s the next morning.

This time it’ll be a little more civilized, mostly because a child will be involved. We just ordered a nice Kelty tent online, with footprint. There’s only a few other things to get this week and we will be all set.

Here are some foods I hope to enjoy:
-hot dogs, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed they have some at next week’s market
-s’mores (duh)
-some sort of chili or stew
-PB and Nutella cooked in a pudgy pie iron
-oatmeal

I’m sure there are more things I want to eat, but this is what I can think of for now.

In addition to the basic hiking that one tends to do when camping, I also want to do some crafting. Not exactly sure what I would want to make, but I have a week to figure it out. Eating, walking, and crafting all sound like perfectly good activities to me.

>Squash Blossoms and a Blog Recommendation

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(photo is from Bill’s blog)

Tonight we roasted some squash blossoms. I had never had them before but have wanted to try them for years. I followed my friend Bill’s recipe and they were amazing! The link also goes to his blog.

Although it’s called Saratoga Local, I don’t think that should discourage you if you live somewhere else. A lot of his cooking can be done anywhere and I think it’s just a good reminder of how easy, fun, and delicious eating locally can be.

>Sundae on the Farm

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On Father’s Day we went to Sundae on the Farm. This is an annual tradition where a local farm allows people to come on Father’s Day for free to tour their farm, enjoy pie and ice cream and shop from local vendors.

We drove in and got to park on part of the field. Just driving in made my brain whirl. There was so much land! I just wanted to run like crazy over the grass.

We got to walk through the barn first and see all the cows. I’m always astonished at how big they can be. It’s simply amazing to be right there next to them. They just remind me of big, sweet ladies.

Then we got to look at the sweet baby cows. I know that’s not technically what they are called but I can’t help it. Their eyes are so incredibly big and kind looking. A guy put his hand into their pen and one little one came over to suckle on his finger. I wanted to bring one home so bad. If I had a cow I’d pet it on that spot right between the eyes and tell it all about my day. Weird, I realize.

Then we got to learn about the farm’s history before enjoying pie and ice cream. We walked around and got to see familiar faces in the market area. It made me stand a little taller to realize that I know so many wonderful people in the local Ag community. It’s great when your dairy farmer asks you about your garden, since he’s the one who gave you your compost.

Before we left we were looking at some more cows that were eating outside. We needed to go but Jack couldn’t stop staring at them. I was walking away and calling to him when an older man stopped next to me, glanced at Jack, and then said, “He’s going to be a farmer someday.” I looked at that old farmer and said, “I sure hope so.” I smiled as Jack ran over to me. Truth be told, I could’ve sat there all day with Jack just looking at those cows. Someday.

>Pretzels….yum

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Image from DogHillKitchen

Jack and I made soft pretzels yesterday. The recipe came from Mary Jane’s Farm Magazine and it was so easy. You basically just make a dough with flour, salt, yeast, water and sugar. Let it rise, and then form into whatever shapes you want.

I let Jack get creative with a bunch of them and he made one that looked like a cinnamon roll and another that looked like Mickey Mouse. We sprinkled half with sea salt and the others with cinnamon and sugar.

It’s fun because you get to par boil for 3 minutes before you bake them. It’s awesome to watch them float in the boiling water and puff up. Jack liked helping with this part.

I ate 2 yesterday. I would’ve eaten more. They were so incredibly good. I should’ve made a double batch. Oh well, now that I know how, this recipe will be here for a long time.